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Melancholia is an odd movie. I think that's a good place to start. As it happens, I like odd movies but I'm still trying to work out what I think about this one.
The movie starts with a 5 minute very arthouse piece in which the characters are seemingly 'caught' in slow motion, as though time has stopped moving as it should. It's very odd. I did wonder for a moment whether it was ever going to end, but it did and we started in to what seemed like a more normal movie.
The movie is then split into two parts. The first part is a wedding reception in which Kursten Dunst's character plays the bride. When she arrives at the reception she's all happy and smiles but it soon becomes apparent that this is just a front. During the course of the reception her behaviour becomes increasingly odd - she wanders off and pees on the golf course, goes for a long bath, falls out with her husband and makes up and falls out, goes for a sleep, has sex with a guest, gets sacked. Your typical wedding reception. It's interesting, and then at the same time pointless. Like I say, I'm still working this out.
The second part of the movie follows the concerns of Kursten Dunst's character's sister Claire and a planet called Melancholia which is set to pass by close to the Earth. Although she has been reassured, particularly by her husband, that the planet will not hit the Earth, Claire doubts this. We follow her concerns for her son, her investigations and uncertainties about what is happening, her relationship with her sister. I won't tell you how it ends.
The second half of the movie is much more promising, with the character of Claire being very well drawn and sympathetic. Even so, it was strangely odd and pointless and in the end I wasn't really sure what the movie was trying to get at.
It is a beautifully filmed movie, and the acting was excellent. But in the end I just didn't get it.